Samuel "Sam" Houston (March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American politician and soldier, best known for his role in bringing Texas into the United States as a constituent state.Houston was born at Timber Ridge Plantation in Rockbridge County of Virginia, of Scots-Irish descent. Houston became a key figure in the history of Texas and was elected as the first and third President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator for Texas after it joined the United States, and finally as a governor of the state. He refused to swear loyalty to the Confederacy when Texas seceded from the Union in 1861 with the outbreak of the American Civil War, and was removed from office. To avoid bloodshed, he refused an offer of a Union army to put down the Confederate rebellion. Instead, he retired to Huntsville, Texas, where he died before the end of the American Civil War.His earlier life included migration to Tennessee from Virginia, time spent with the Cherokee Nation (into which he later was adopted as a citizen and into which he married), military service in the War of 1812, and successful participation in Tennessee politics. In 1827, Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee as a Jacksonian. In 1829, Houston resigned as governor and relocated to Arkansas Territory. In 1832, Houston was involved in an altercation with a U.S. Congressman, followed by a high-profile trial.Shortly afterwards, he relocated to Coahuila y Tejas, then a Mexican state, and became a leader of the Texas Revolution. Sam Houston supported annexation by the United States. When he assumed the governorship of Texas in 1859, Houston became the only person to have become the governor of two different U.S. states through direct, popular election, as well as the only state governor to have been a foreign head of state.Namesake of the city which, since the 1980s, has become the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston's reputation was sufficiently large that he was honored in numerous ways after his death, among them: a memorial museum, four U.S. warships named USS Houston (AK-1, CA-30, CL-81, and SSN-713), a U.S. Army base, a national forest, a historical park, a university, and a prominent roadside statue outside of Huntsville.